This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
“You don’t have a clur about music,” the message began — and yes, they wrote ‘clur.’ Then they got to the point: “How can you say a washed-up old man like Bob Dylan is better than Nickelback?” I kid you not. That’s an actual e-mail I got when I had the temerity to give Nickelback’s Silver Side Up a lower rating than Dylan’s Love and Theft. And it’s the sort of brainiac response I get every time I fail to worship at the denim-and-leather altar of these Canadian rock blowhards.
Well, if Chad Kroeger and Nickelback are still heroes to the bros, I expect to get more of the same — mainly because the band’s fourth album, The Long Road, is just more of the same, too. More chest-pounding grudge-rockers like Do This Anymore. More bellowing-moose power ballads like Someday and Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good. More stadium-sized power-chord hooks. More whoa-ho vocal refrains. More dour songs about drugs, teen suicide, dysfunctional families, single moms, bad dads, bad breaks and bad breakups. And more lyrical atrocities like “I like your pants around your knees” and “We gotta make love just one last time in the shower” (gee, thanks for the visual, Chad).
Admittedly, there are a few worthwhile moments to be found among these 14 cuts. Flat On The Floor and Because Of You sport grinding low-neck riffs and pumpin’ beats that veer closer to metal than the boys have in a while. And the bonus tunes — mostly one-off soundtrack cuts like a cover of Elton John’s Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) — show how likeable the band can be when they lighten up and rock out. The rest of the time, though, The Long Road just reminds you of How You Remind Me, Too Bad and Hero. Then again, what do I know? After all, I don’t have a clur about music.